INTERNATIONAL: Ameritech’s Walker takes Monsanto job

CHIGACO: Pharmaceuticals giant Monsanto has poached Ameritech’s senior vice-president of communications, following the telecom company’s takeover by rival CBS Communications.

CHIGACO: Pharmaceuticals giant Monsanto has poached Ameritech’s

senior vice-president of communications, following the telecom company’s

takeover by rival CBS Communications.



Joan Walker has joined Monsanto in the newly created position of senior

vice-president of corporate affairs.



She reports to Richard De Schutter, vice-chairman and chief executive

officer and is responsible for Monsanto’s communications globally. She

will be spending her time between Monsanto’s Chicago and St Louis

offices, and will also travel to the company’s offices around the world

to make sure each arm is communicating a similar message.



Walker’s brief will be wide-ranging. She will take charge of all public

affairs, external relations and internal communications. She will work

across all of Monsanto’s divisions, including the GD Searl

pharmaceuticals operation.



Monsanto has been lumbered with a rocky reputation for media relations

in recent months. This has not been helped by controversy over the issue

of GM foods. In the UK the company responded by strengthening its PR

team.



In February Monsanto recruited Safeway public affairs head, Tony Combes

to manage its corporate public and media relations.



The company has been unable to find a chief PR lieutenant since Phil

Angell left, without another job to go to, in the spring. Angell’s role,

corporate communications director, focused on the US.



Walker’s move follows the pounds 4 billion merger of Ameritech into SB

Communications.



Combining the companies is understood to have resulted in the loss of 30

internal PR jobs.



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